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Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

ST. LOUIS — It was another pre-dawn alarm for another raging blaze in another unfinished high-dollar urban renewal project.
Blaze parallels string of unsolved arsons

ST. LOUIS — It was another pre-dawn alarm for another raging blaze in another unfinished high-dollar urban renewal project.

But was Wednesday morning's fire at the mid-city apartment-retail complex, called "3949 Lindell," a fourth in a series of arsons that had stopped almost exactly one year before?

Investigators don't know yet as they use trained dogs and other tools to look for evidence of a deliberate fire.

A homeless couple told a reporter and investigators that they saw two men lob firebombs at the framework along Lindell Boulevard near Vandeventer Avenue.

"I was close enough that my shirt could have caught on fire," said one of them, Crystal B. Hall. "I smelled the smoke and felt the heat first."

She and her fiancé, John P. Johnson III, said they had been considering sleeping in the unfinished structure for the night.

Fire department Capt. Steve Simpson said all information provided to investigators was taken seriously, but he cautioned that there had been some inconsistencies in eyewitness accounts.

Joy Branch-Enderlin, special agent in charge of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office here, said, "It's very concerning that we've had multiple fires involving … homes that are under construction."

The agency probes suspected arsons, in this case working beside the police bomb and arson squad and fire department.

She and Simpson said it is too early to determine for sure what ignited the three-alarm blaze.

The mixed-use project is being built by Hepfner Smith Airhart & Day Inc., of Plano, Texas. John Airhart, among company officials who flew to the scene, said they plan to rebuild.

The $30 million project, four stories tall with 197 apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail space, was reported to have been about 30 percent complete.

Arson was blamed in the three similar fires last year, but the crimes were never solved and a $65,000 reward was never claimed.

It was one year ago this morning that fires set in two condominium projects in Lafayette Square — Mississippi Place and Vail Place — were reported just 37 minutes apart. Damage together was estimated at more than $4 million.

A $3 million loss in a fire April 27, 2006, at the Compton Gate condo project, 2201 Grand Boulevard, also was ruled an arson.

Connections between the blazes were presumed, but no motive was established.

Nobody was seriously injured in any of the fires, although Simpson said a firefighter sustained a minor cut from an ax Wednesday morning.

The heat from flames that were visible for miles also damaged a nearby Arby's restaurant and the front of Metro High School, across the street at 4015 McPherson. Summer school classes there were moved to Carr Lane Middle School.

Bystander Catherine Gilbert, a Metro High School junior, looked out over the piles of smoldering ash later Wednesday and repeated a question on a lot of minds: "Why? What's the intention?"


Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

Below is a post from Thomas Crone, a local writer. He talks to the police and is trying to connect anarchists to the arson with no evidence. He is duped into helping the police to engage in 21st century red-baiting: now called the Green Scare, where law enforcement across the country pick out top outspoken activists and harass them. Crone is a snitch, a cop. Avoid him at all cost.


Crone on 14 Jun 2007 at 12:08 pm
There were zines printed up over the last year, advocating for arson and praising last year’s fires. I picked up a few at Hartford Coffee, where they were left by an individual who works at Black Bear Bakery and who frequently has them at the BBB’s stand at Soulard Market during this shifts there.
I have mentioned this to friends in the SLMPD. In fact, I gave the zine issues to connected types and cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of them now. Wouldn’t be surprised, though, for another edition to come out soon.
If I’m a betting man, and I’m not, I’d put my fire-starting coin on the anarchists, rather than some union goon squad.

# Jim Zaviston 14 Jun 2007 at 12:28 pm
Another totally unsubstantiated theory - could some security company be trying to drum up some more business “protecting” construction sites? So far, every one’s been rebuilt, with additional security . . .

# LisaSon 14 Jun 2007 at 12:54 pm
Crone, I didn’t know that. Guess I need to get out of the neighborhood (CWE) every once in a while. Anarchists don’t hang out here (or at playgrounds) very much ….

# tobyon 14 Jun 2007 at 1:13 pm
Historically, unions only instigate destruction that has the benefit of creating work for them. What would be the benefit of them burning down a non-union site? There is no benefit. Thus, they wouldn’t bother. It would be a waste of time if the law tried to finger the unions.

[UrbanReviewSTL — Like Jim’s security company thought, I bet when these companies rebuild they find ways to hire more union workers. Whomever is behind it I would guess it is some individual or very small group thinking they are doing a good deed for their cause. The culprit might turn out to be a union anarchist who works on the side as a security guard, all the while being a fire bug. It is all speculation and theory at this point.]

# MattHurston 14 Jun 2007 at 2:39 pm
i can’t believe i’m reading a 21st century blog and not a 19th century paper filled with rumors against the unions and anarchists (see also: chicago). reguardless of the possible motivations of the crime, these issues are all important to discuss but we can’t go around discussing this based on our personal interest in individual subjects. that would be an inressponsible and speculative dialog (of which i guess i’m guilty too).
i just hope whoever did this is revealed, because the least thing this city needs is an arsonist scaring away quality developments.

# Michael Allenon 14 Jun 2007 at 2:54 pm
“the least thing this city needs is an arsonist scaring away quality developments.”
Or stifling political dissent…

# jon 14 Jun 2007 at 3:54 pm
Based on the history of these events and the amount of money being poured into these developments, I’m curious why additional measures have not yet been taken to deter something like this? Such as overnight security or the presence of security cameras? At least during the most vulnerable times of construction…
Perhaps there was in this incident, but I have not yet heard anything regarding this.

[UrbanReviewSTL — You’d think they’d at least have a construction fence up.]

# Lynnon 14 Jun 2007 at 4:45 pm
I can’t remember the name of the anarchist zine either (I think it had something to do with the prosperous future we would like to have without working for it), but it didn’t read to me like it was actually connected to the fires. The overall rant was about how these developers oppress people by hiring them, and the arguments got kind of off-track when they exalted some north side sites that had burned where development could have happened in the future - it was more like a lone zealot taking a pool of unconnected facts and trying to turn it into proof of a popular movement of oppressed people everywhere. It was, however, shockingly full of hate and rage, more so than just abut anything I’ve ever read. Eek.

# Adamon 14 Jun 2007 at 5:56 pm
except for the bible. : )
sorry, but i had to …

# Adamon 14 Jun 2007 at 6:16 pm
ok, not that i’m an “anarchist”, but i just hope this doesn’t turn into another bashing/stereotyping thread. i’m sure that many people hear the word and picture some punk kid running around smashing windows and tagging bathroom walls. like any philosophy, some people will abuse it. and Lynn, i’m not sure if you were honestly trying to recall the ‘zine name or just making a joke, but “not working for it” is not part of anarchist philosophy. “not working” is the philosophy of selfish, lazy kids who heard a sex-pistols song and bought into an image. i’ve known a few very good people who identify as “anarchists” who would not fit the stereotype.

# Adamon 14 Jun 2007 at 6:18 pm
that said, if it WAS “anarchists” that set this/these fires then those INDIVIDUALS should go to prison.

Thomas Crone, Police Informer

Thomas Crone

It seems important for people to know who exactly Thomas Crone is because when you are talking to Thomas Crone, you are talking to the police. So below is some information to help people recognize him.

-He frequents Hartford Coffee Company at the corner of Hartford St. and Roger Pl.

-He is a DJ at KDHX every Monday night from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.

-His websites:

-And blog:

In his own words:
"There were zines printed up over the last year, advocating for arson and praising last year’s fires. I picked up a few at Hartford Coffee, where they were left by an individual who works at Black Bear Bakery and who frequently has them at the BBB’s stand at Soulard Market during this shifts there. I have mentioned this to friends in the SLMPD. In fact, I gave the zine issues to connected types and cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of them now. Wouldn’t be surprised, though, for another edition to come out soon. If I’m a betting man, and I’m not, I’d put my fire-starting coin on the anarchists, rather than some union goon squad."

pix removed

the pictures posted of thomas crone were removed by the stlimc editorial group, as they were deemed incendiary and unnecessary. regardless of the subject matter or merit of this thread, stlimc eds do not wish this site to be used to target individuals for possibly violent retribution.

Re: pix removed

Few use this site for productive community-building activity, and the site may be doomed.

Yet some asshole has time to dig up and post those photos.

Why would anyone believe that "anarchists" set any fire other than the usual petty political pissing match?

Re: pix removed

The photos of Thomas Chrone are in the public domain. They are no secret. He has put his name to his comments and, on numerous occasions at various events throughout the city, put his face to his name. Additionally, nothing in any of the above comments even suggests violence towards him. They, in fact, suggest the opposite- steering clear of him. If someone found a police wiretap in a building such as a coffeeshop, I would hope people would post news of its discovery and a photo of it, so we would know the police were listening if a similar object was nearby us. Thomas Chrone is no different. So why remove his photos? Displaying the photos is necessary to the flowering of any meaningful social movement in St. Louis.

It should be noted that in the World Agricultural Forum raids of 4 years ago, Freedom of Information Act documents later cited 2 Confidential Sources that had been used by authorities to spy/inform on those participating in protests. If the identities of the Confidential Sources were known at the time, perhaps much of the repression would not have happened.
Reply: Re: Re: pix removed / 16 Jun 2007
Reply: Re: Re: pix removed / 16 Jun 2007
Reply: Re: Re: Re: pix removed / 17 Jun 2007
Reply: Re: Re: pix removed / 18 Jun 2007

Re: pix removed

"So, is Indymedia supposed to protect anarchists and fight liberals? I thought that it is INDEPENDENT"

one would hope that Indymedia (as well as liberals and anarchists alike) would help spread word of possible snitches/informants, which if Thomas Crone is providing so-called evidence to police he would certainly fall under the category of.

i think the "INDEPENDENT" part refers to Indymedia's relationship to the world of corporate media, not a lack of a political agenda/bias.

i think by defending snitches or hindering ways of warning the larger activist community of those unsafe to associate with, the stlimc is getting into a very, very bad habit as well as isolating itself from communities and individuals who already have vert strong anti-snitching policies.

it's not too late to swallow your pride and pseudo-ethics, stlimc. repost the pictures.
Reply: Re: Re: pix removed / 21 Jun 2007

Re: pix removed

"Thomas Crone gave a copy of a PUBLISHED zine to the police. If the authors of the zine did not want the police to see their ideas, why in fuck did they PUBLISH and DISTRIBUTE those ideas???To call Crone an informant is to suggest there was something in the zine other than facile posturing..."

the whole point is his intent. it's not whether or not a snitch is actually telling the truth or giving any sort of legitimate information to the State, it is the fact that thomas crone felt the appropriate step was to tattle and give big brother the okay to start fucking with various activists if they felt the desire to. he apparently did this for no other reason other than he felt it was the right thing to do.
if thomas crone is willing to turn snitch just because he feels it his civic duty, imagine what things he'd make up if he ever had the screws put to him.
it's for people's own good that they know who snitches like thomas crone are in order so they may steer clear of them.

Re: Thomas Crone, Police Informer

Actually, I'm spotted at MoKaBe's more often than Hartford these days. The other stuff's basically correct. If anyone wants to have a chat about these issues, I'm easily enough located, really. Using the kind of "pay (him) a visit"/toughie lingo, though, isn't really going to sway me towards another viewpoint.

In fact, a lot of the comments here have basically confirmed a variety of my feelings about the stlimc digital community, both good and bad.

All best,

this makes no sense

So, you have basically been confirmed as a pig, a squealer, a stoolie, a narc and you want us to discuss things with you?

Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

FATHER's hand is here! It's wrong for one person to go to the police, but right for an anonymous Internet asshole to play policeman through the tired authoritarian "informant" canard.

Oh, Daddy, I had better not squeal on you or you'll post my photo online! Daddy Mokwa([search]), I mean Daddy Anarch, I obey you!

Re: Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

I don't know if the pictures above and all that is overkill, but I really think folks have a right to know who Crone is. I know that in my lifetime I've advocated for illegal and, at times, destructive tactics against things that I have seen as unjust and directly destructive toward the natural world or society. For this I do not deserve to be turned into the police as a potential threat, nor do the writers of the infamous "zine."

False charges and resulting harassment and potential arrests and jail time are a very real possibility, and should not be treated lightly. For Crone to suggest that "anarchists" are responsible when there is abslolutely no evidence to support such an accusation (other than one zine written by a couple of folks who get excited about the possibility of class warfare) is grossly irresponsible at best. I for one am glad that I know what he looks like so I don't inadvertently get into a conversation with him and end up on his list of folks to bring up to the police for things I haven't done.

Re: Re: Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

You would probably agree that development that raises the population of the city of St. Louis is not unjust, right?

I think that anyone who praises the arsons is inadvertently aiding the suburban lobby that is eager for excuses to avoid investment (economically & politically) in the city. A city is a diverse thing, right? So "high-priced" projects are part of a desired mix of housing units that includes more affordable ones.

Instead of tearing everyone down to the lowest denominator, how about raising everyone up so we can all afford fully-rehabbed or new lead-free housing?
Reply: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments! / 18 Jun 2007
Reply: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments! / 18 Jun 2007

crone's syndrome

In fact, I gave the zine issues to connected types and cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of them now

to which is he refering here? the "name" [note the use of a singleton] of the "zine issues" or of the "connected types"?

and isn't it quite strange that the subject suddenly shifts from an earlier recollection of "zines" in the plural to this usage of the singular?

if crone indeed imagines himself as the judicious informer-type, it would appear that, based on his contradictory descriptions & poor recollection, the worth of his service yields, at best, minimal benefit, much as one might also conclude the same from his music & community-interest acumen.

perhaps the more logical explanation is that this is yet another example of crone's syndrome — namely, talking out the side his neck to fill up space/airtime.

Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

# Concernedon 14 Jun 2007 at 10:23 pm
Thomas Crone is wildly mistaken in talking to the police — he is supporting political harassment of political activists. By linking Black Bear Bakery, anarchists and arson (this is all most people will remember from his irresponsible post), he is dividing the activist community. There is a new form of McCarthyism and red-baiting in the country: it called the Green Scare ( Whereas once people were called commies for advocating for national health care and affordable housing, now they are called eco-terrorists and anarchists. Just as the police and FBI raided, murdered and beat up Black Panthers in the 60s, today they arrest and give 300 year sentences to outspoken activists engaged in forest defense. Or locally activism for organic local farming over Monsanto([search])’s biotech nightmares. We saw that in St. Louis in the raids of the Bolozone([search]) housing coop and community center CAMP([search]) in May 2003. (By the way their lawsuit against the police raids is going to trial in July 2007). See The RFT’s misnamed article “Meet the Anarchists.” June 2003.
The powers that be want those in the more liberal camp to criticize and be divided from those who have deeper critiques of the market economy or choose direct action that some may find disagreeable. They want us to squabble amongst ourselves while the neocons and neoliberals sell off public assets, engage in war for oil and put the squeeze on the poor. Some want to hold candlelight vigils and some like the Catholic priest Carl Kabat want to take sledgehammers to missle silos. Support diversity of tactics.
No one really knows the motivations behind the arsons. The motivation could be like the college students that burned a bunch of churches in the south, for the hell of it. Why speculate in a way that helps police harass respected activists?

Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

Well, I just hope that whoever is doing the arsons, they aren't wasting their energy on online bickering and are making more plans in their own communities.

Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

By the way, Community Arts & Media Project is a *corporation* that owns *private property*.

Something to think about...

Re: Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

Alot of us are aware of this, some more than others. St. Louis if filled with tons of angry individuals who are not associated with C.A.M.P.

Re: Re: Another arson hits St. Louis developments!

Burn it down.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Click on image for a larger version

The Proletariat are pleased to announce the latest member of my agents, Thomas Crone.

Crone studied under myself, Steve Martin, over the last year and a half in France - anally learning the crafty and subtle subversion of the fiery French youth. We have slowed the burning desire of the disillusioned and fed-up french (minus a minor flare-up after the election)and now I feel Tom has proven himself more than capable, so I have turned him loose on the streets of St. Louis.

I wish him the best of luck squashing any sort of unsanctioned dissent, may he be the eyes, ears and mouth of the Party, wherever he may be.

I will miss you greatly, Tom.

how cute

are they both wearing mao buttons?

Our little dances

I agree about the 'online bickering' comment.
Some person or persons are torching development that I for one am glad to see go, and also after many discussions about that 'infamous zine' with others around town, I can see that we are not alone in our disgust for such development or the yuppies who will be dwelling in them.
If we are not so inspired as to light a few ourselves (but once again, no one knows who's doing it yet), then AT LEAST this gives us a spring-board to really let others know how we feel (which I personally think the zine did a good job in - making discussion inevitable). Let's not let the fire go out (as old Carnahan once said - haha).
It gives us room to FURTHER make these yuppies feel uncomfortable in our town. Let's APPLAUD the arsons, let these people not feel welcome, because - they are not (don't believe me, start asking people).
Instead of playing cop, or the "who's more radical than who" game, let's use these an a starting point.
Yes, we don't want any new development.
And no action or online comment is going to change that.
And let's start collectively taking back our lives.

Re: Our little dances

Rather than try to drive these people out, why not try to persude them to your side?

Don't act like fucking Stalinists. The revolution isn't about tightening the definition of "us" -- it's about broadening it as far and wide as possible.

Re: Re: Our little dances

"rather than try to drive the people out" that drive us out we should do what?

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